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HOF-Totality of the Career-Hodges

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  • HOF-Totality of the Career-Hodges

    Look, we are all here at this board cause we care about baseball.
    Is there a place in the HOF for a career that does all things well but was never a dominater. Who was a damn good player on some damn good teams. By example, I would put forth Gil Hodges. A strong offensive player but certainly not the best. A very strong defensive player (numerous gold gloves) over a number of years. A much beloved fan favorite. In the second phase of his career, he was a very good manager who skippered a team that was the surprise of the decade -the Miracle Mets of 69- to a World Series Championship.
    Someone who -in all liklihood- would have won more if not striken with the heart attack.

    Is there not a place in the Hall of Fame for someone like that as opposed to a player that is an offensive force to be sure but did so under a cloud of steroids. And whose post baseball conduct was less than stellar.

    At this point, I am just asking.
    Johnny
    Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

  • #2
    --People often talk about Hodges managerial career as if it were a strong addition to his Hall of Fame case. The truth is it was not particularly distinguished. 1969 was a great season for Mets fans, but it was his only really successfull season.

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    • #3
      now that is a firster

      I haven't heard that before. I thought managing an unproven team that was heretofore a laughing stock to a first time WS win was a pretty substantial credential. I can't really hold his time with the Senators against him too much. Were the Mets of 69 like the favorites at the begining of the season. I am fairly ignorant on 'em so I am hoping to get a little education on the matter. My assumption was that they were the surprise team of the year if not the decade.
      Well gotta watch my Seahawks:radio
      Johnny
      Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

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      • #4
        I think I'm like leecemark in that I agree it's nice he was manager when the Mets caught lightning in a bottle--but how much individual credit does Hodges deserve for that? I'm sure he helped, but if he was so great as a manager, why doesn't the rest of his record as a manager reflect that? I'm definitely biased toward managers whose teams climbed the mountain several times. If the 1993 Phillies had won the World Series, would Jim Fregosi be a Hall of Famer? He did some good things, but burned up his pitchers trying to win that one--and probably the biggest factor behind that team's success was that it was the one season the Phillies had Dykstra and Daulton and both stayed healthy, a fact Fregosi had very little if anything to do with. Hodges can certainly stand in there with Fregosi, and his case may not be very similar, but the point is how I evaluate a guy like them.

        Jim Albright
        Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
        Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
        A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

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        • #5
          When you got a 2B with a 125 OPS+ (and a 1B/3B with a 156 OPS+) that aren't in the Hall, maybe a 1B with a 120 OPS+ should wait?
          Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
          Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

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          • #6
            Hodges was a good, but not HOF caliber, player. Mark is right that other than that 1969 World Series with the Mets Hodges never did a thing as a manager. That team was certainly a big surprise (probably the biggest ever this side of the 1914 Braves), but that was more a flukey performance than something Hodges can be given lots of credit for. What basically happened for the Mets that year is three young pitchers matured (Seaver, Koosman, Gentry), every other one of their pitchers did just a little better, and two okay players had career years (Cleon Jones and Tommy Agee).

            Plus, they got really lucky (overperformed Pyth. by 8 games). The success of the 1969 Mets is not put squarely on the shoulders of Gil Hodges, in fact he probably had little to do with the team's success. I'm willing to give him some credit for that but not enough to put his below HOF level career to HOF level.

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            • #7
              The more I think about Hodges, the more I have him on the outside of the Hall. He definitely had a very nice career, but it just wasn't quite good enough. Adding his managerial career to the mix doesn't really make a difference either. It's unfortunate that his time was cut short so early due to his untimely death at age 48, but there really isn't enough to go on for him as a manager. I'm inclined to agree with the others that he was there when the Mets caught lightning in a bottle, and I don't know how much of that should be credited to Hodges' leadership.

              That being said, I wouldn't be upset if he were put in the Hall, and he wouldn't be the worst selection. There is an aspect about many Hall of Famers that has something to do with who they are and there place in the game. Along these lines, I think Hodges has a pretty good case for being in the Hall as I think a lot of people have a certain sentimality for him that's just not there for a lot of players, including most Hall of Famers.

              Strictly on the numbers though, I have Hodges around 20-25th all-time for first base. Based on when he retired, I'd have him somewhere in the 7-10 range. I think that's just outside Hall of Fame quality.

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              • #8
                I really dislike the idea of combining playing performance with managing performance when neither is HoF worthy to say that overall the guy IS an HoFer. To me it is one or the other, but not both. Had Hodges not died so tragically he would not be getting a whiff of the HoF.

                Doesn't it bother any of his supporters that they are at least ten retired 1B's with better claims to the HoF than Hodges??
                Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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                • #9
                  --I don't really have a problem with combining cases if the man is very close in both aspects. A guy like Hughie Jennings or Frank Chance, who were a little short in either role (IMO), are good examples of what I'm looking for in a composite candidate. Joe Torre would be a good modern example, except he was both a better player and a better manager than Hodges.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KCGHOST
                    Doesn't it bother any of his supporters that they are at least ten retired 1B's with better claims to the HoF than Hodges??
                    Go try telling the Brooklynites Hodges wasn't the player Dick Allen was.

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                    • #11
                      age old question-how much credit

                      In regards to managing the Senators in the 60's, I'll use the old line about even if you had John McGraw as your manager, Joe McCarthy and Casey Stengal as your base coaches with Walt Alston as the bat boy, those teams were not going anywhere.

                      In regards to the Mets, I do give someone 'some' credit for taking a team that no one expected to win and managing them to the win as opposed to the Yankees of recent vintage that can afford pretty much what they want. Were the Mets lucky, well over a 162 game schedule luck is also the residue of a lot of good decisions. It's easy to see in hindsight the greatness of Seaver, Koosman, McGraw, et al. But all the experts at the start of the season were not picking the Mets to do anything special.

                      But hey, I am not saying that he should be in just cause of the 69 team. Far from it. But with all due respect, lets not start comparing the totality of a career of a Gil Hodges to a Jim Fregosi. Sheesh. h
                      Johnny
                      Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

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                      • #12
                        --Unlike some commenters here, I give Hodges a reasonable amount of credit for leading the Mets to the pennant in 1969. I also agree that nobody was going to win much with those Senators teams. Still managers get credit for winning - and blame for losing - failry or not. Hodges only had one season where he won anything.
                        --It is perhaps unfair to compare Fregosi and Hodges. To which man its unfair is questionable though. Fregosi played 18 seasons, making 6 All Star teams. He had a 113 OPS+ to Hodges 120 - but he was mostly a SS and that 113 is much more impressive for a SS than 120 is for a firstbaseman. Fregosi wasn't a historically great defensive SS, but he was pretty good (winning a GG in 1967) and even a merely adequete SS has more defensive value than a top fielding 1B. Like Hodges, Fregosi has a career losing record as a manager, but he has been successfull in more than one season. I'd say JIm Fregosi is every bit as qualified for the Hall of Fame as Gil Hodges. Of course, that doesn't make Fregosi a guy I'd want to campaign for or think should be in.

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                        • #13
                          ooops

                          Upon reflection, I was probably being a little harsher than I should have on Fregosi. I had forgotten he had won a GG at all and recalled that Hodges had multiple GG (six or so), was a good hitter, and had played on better teams.
                          But after your comment on Fregosi I have to admit he is a better player than my initial reaction warranted (you have to understand I am coming down off the Seahawk high so some of my commentary sounds a little like I am on meth:gt )
                          But with all that, Hodges is borderline when you even go totality of the career and I can't get too upset either way.
                          Last edited by johnny; 01-22-2006, 10:47 PM.
                          Johnny
                          Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by johnny
                            Upon reflection, I was probably being a little harsher than I should have on Fregosi. I had forgotten he had won a GG at all and recalled that Hodges had multiple GG (six or so), was a good hitter, and had played on better teams.
                            But after your comment on Fregosi I have to admit he is a better player than my initial reaction warranted (you have to understand I am coming down off the Seahawk high so some of my commentary sounds a little like I am on meth:gt )
                            But with all that, Hodges is borderline when you even go totality of the career and I can't get too upset either way.
                            Not only was Fregosi clearly a better player than Hodges but he may have been a better manager as well. He managed the 1993 Phillies (a surprise team just like the '69 Mets) all the way to the World Series (though they lost). Looking at that team, it appears more managing was needed and perhaps Fregosi was a key part of the team's turnaround.

                            Fregosi also has much better longevity as a manager than Hodges, with more wins and way more years managed. He also has a better winning percentage and more teams over .500. Fregosi also has become an executive over the last few years I believe, whereas Hodges never did anything in baseball after his managerial years (because of his untimely death). Not that I want Fregosi in the Hall, but he would have a better case than Hodges does.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 538280
                              Fregosi also has much better longevity as a manager than Hodges, with more wins and way more years managed. He also has a better winning percentage and more teams over .500. Fregosi also has become an executive over the last few years I believe, whereas Hodges never did anything in baseball after his managerial years (because of his untimely death). Not that I want Fregosi in the Hall, but he would have a better case than Hodges does.
                              Well it's easy to have better longevity when Manager A dies and Manager B does not, wouldn't you say? Hodges managerial record, for the most part, is saddled with seasons spent with the exansion Senators for 5 seasons, in which the team improved each year that Hodges was at the helm, and then one year with the woeful Mets, before '69 happens. '69 is followed by two more winning seasons, and then Hodges dies before the '73 season. It's also worth noting that the Senators, after improving each year under Hodges' watch, regressed by 11 games the year after he left, and fell 4 spots in the standings. I think it's safe to say that Hodges had a positive impact on his teams.

                              IMO, it's not a very fair comparison at all to base this discussion on longevity. To me, the fact that Hodges improved an expansion each year that he was its manager, and then was at the helm when the Mets made history, says a lot about his skills as a manager, and perhaps if his tenure was not unfortunately cut short, this comparison would be moot.
                              Last edited by DoubleX; 01-23-2006, 10:45 AM.

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